Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cleaning Box Stain

The Power of Cleaning Fluid compels you!
The Power of Cleaning Fluid compels you!

I'm not a big fan of keeping all the boxes and packages of my collectibles, especially after the figurine reallocation exercise did in July last year. I usually flatten the boxes of completed model kits or out-of-box collectibles after I take tons of their pictures. With that, even though the boxes are gone, I still have their pictures to look at, while welcoming incoming items which would take up the space left behind by those "processed" boxes, so to speak ^^; It's one-of-a-kind loop really XD

Still, just because I don't care too much about the boxes doesn't mean I'm neglecting their appearances. For unopened items, it would be great if their boxes can stay as clean as possible until I decide to take out the content. ^^ Unfortunately, pesky stains always ruin that feeling of "freshness". ^^; For example, this one:

Leftover adhesive from some stickers I presume, and it's ugly. ^^;

Normally, if you are getting something brand new, such stains are uncommon since the box should be all shiny shiny bling-bling. ^^ However, if you're trading stuff from other collectors, there's a chance that such stains would be on the box, even if the item is MISB (mint in sealed box). Either it's from some stickers the original owner removed before selling the item to you, or it might be just some "generic" stains accumulated after staying on the original owner's shelves for too long. ^^; Where the stain comes from is not important. How to get rid of them is the more important question. ^^

As collectors who want to protect their collectibles, we want to clean off those stains as much as we could while avoiding any possible damage to the boxes. The latter is a constant risk, depending on your cleaning method. The leftover adhesive stain shown above for example, the most "direct" method I'm sure most of us "deployed" to get rid of it in the old days when we were too ignorant of this issue was: just scratch it off with fingernails. ^^; With that "barbaric" method, I'm pretty sure we shared that feeling of regret and depression when the stain seemed to turn uglier with each scratch we made on the box, where the damage might worsen to the stage where pieces of the box started getting scratched off too. ^^;

For trying to clean up the box, we ended up destroying it instead. Very sad.

Not too recently, I found out a really handy and powerful cleaning agent that is far more superior and "gentle" in getting rid of all those pesky stains: ^^

Zippo Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid! ^^ Supposedly meant as refill for Zippo lighter, but it's very effective in combating stains on boxes while not damaging their surface too. ^^ How did I found out about this? I'm not a smoker myself, so don't expect a story like, "Yea~ one day I was thinking of having a cigarette when I found out that my lighter was dead. I was trying to refill my lighter when a few drops of the lighter fluid accidentally fell on a sticker stain on top of my Perfect Grade Sinanju Ver. Ka's box. I came to realization about this special "function" of Zippo lighter fluid when the stain came off together with the drops of fluid when I wiped the spot with a piece of tissue."

That's most definitely not how I found out about the special "function", ^^; just like there's no Perfect Grade Sinanju Ver. Ka either. ^^; I just heard about it from a few people I know, so I bought a can to try it out myself, as simple and "uninspiring" as that. ^^; It's very inexpensive from where I got it anyway - RM8 if I remember correctly. ^^

And it works. ^^

Using the lighter fluid on its own can as the first test subject for this posting. ^^

The price tag adhesive stain is wiped off completely.

Clean and shiny. ^^

Then again, paper boxes used to contain model kits or figurines are not the same as a metallic can. ^^; How would the lighter fluid fare for the "real" test? ^^

Cleaning off the stain shown at the beginning of this posting.

No more bad stain, and the box is alright as well. ^^
It's magic! XD

The box belongs to Nendoroid Chiaki Minami.

The little sister seems to be very pleased with the result. XD

Sticker stain and dirtiness after long storage time can be removed completely.

The box belongs to Revoltech Fraulein Haruka Hasegawa.

Stain around unopened sticker can be cleaned off easily as well.
Not only is the box OK, the sticker is not affected too. The cleaning effect is specifically targeted at the stain. ^^

The box belongs to Figma Haruhi School Uniform Ver.

Nasty sticker adhesive stain coupled with dust and other stain are gone after a few rounds of wiping. ^^

The box belongs to BB Senshi Double Zeta Gundam.

Sticker adhesive stain, other stain, all gone. ^^

The box belongs to Transformers Alternity Megatron Blade Silver Ver.

Too easy really. ^^ The examples shown above are puny stuff for the lighter fluid. I remember using it to get rid of all the black double-sided tape stain on my living room's walls during the last spring leaning, and everything came off very easily as well. ^^

As great as it is, it's also important to remember that the lighter fluid is both poisonous and flammable. The risk of getting into trouble with it is dangerously high as the fluid is transparent and has low odor (not easily detectable by smell). More dangerously, the fluid dissipates into its surrounding air very quickly, so working with it for a long period of time should be avoided. It should be stored properly and handled properly.

1 comment:

LEon said...

im using zippo for these usage too. LOL